In an article by Nicola Conville, ‘Dads determine child obesity’, on Body and Soul:
“A recent Australian study has found having an overweight father quadruples a child’s chance of being overweight, even if they have a mother of normal weight.”
The study looked at more than 3000 two parent families over a four year period. Weight was looked at when the child was 4-5 years and when they were 8-9 years old.
It is interesting to note that if the mother is overweight and the father is normal or skinny, it does not seem to matter, the change happens when the father is overweight. Interesting don’t you think!
As the article states when the father at the dinner table refuses the vegetables or some other food, then the children follow. This can make it very hard to have kids eat good and nutritious food. In my situation we eat very well and the kids don’t eat the good food. I do try and hide it in other things to make sure they get what they need. It is very hard with fussy eaters. Maybe hypnosis might work with the fussy eating issue…Just a thought.
Parents need to be careful of what behaviours they are modelling for their child. If you don’t eat a particular food, chances are your child might not want to as well. This has flow on effects, if you don’t exercise or participate in any sport or exercise the child will not want to do so either.
If the family is active together this shows the child that it is fun and a part of life, not a chore and something to hate. If it is integrated into what the family does it is a normal part of family time and will be adopted by the child as a normal thing.
In the article it has great suggestions for getting more active with kids, here are some of mine:
- Go for a bush walk with the family, why not take a picnic?
- Walk to the shops if it is close by. Take the pram if the little kids get tired. You can always stop at the park and let them run around and have fun. (in the article but we do it too)
- Go swimming with the kids.
- Do yoga or some stretching or activity at home.
- Fly a kite. (in the article but we do it too)
- Dance to music.
- Get involved in a sport, running, soccer, or anything that your child might be interested in. We will aim to do that next year as we have tried soccer and that did not work, little athletics seem to take people next year so we will see.
- Games in the backyard, tag or anything that is active.
- Play dates with the kids friends; they end up running around and playing more especially if you go to a park or if you have a good backyard.
What are your thoughts about this study? I do agree that if the child sees you not eating a certain food or doing something they will copy you. It is what is taught and you need to teach, do and model with the right foods and behaviour. However this sometimes is hard when you have a person who does not follow your good eating habits and exercise ideas. Also a treat every now and then is o.k if in moderation; well that is what I think. You don’t want to make your kids feel like they are missing out.